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U.S. Justice Dept. calls state laws restricting trans rights unconstitutional

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By Jan Wolfe WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday made its most forceful statement against a wave of Republican-backed state laws that restrict transgender rights, saying measures enacted in West Virginia and Arkansas should be struck down in the courts. Justice Department lawyers urged a West Virginia judge to invalidate a state law banning transgender athletes from competing in female sports in middle and high schools and colleges, in a legal brief known as a “statement of interest.” The department filed a similar brief in federal court in Arkansas, saying it is unco…

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